Margaret Fuller Ossoli. By C.P. Cranch

From: At Home and Abroad, or Things and Thoughts in Europe (1856)
Author: Margaret Fuller Ossoli
Published: and Company 1856 Boston


O STILL sweet summer days! O moonlight night!
After so drear a storm how can ye shine?
O smiling world of many-hued delights,
How canst thou ‘round our sad hearts still entwine
The accustomed wreaths of pleasure? How, O Day,
Wakest thou so full of beauty? Twilight deep,
How didst thou so tranquilly away?
And how, O Night, bring’st thou the sphere of sleep?
For she is gone from us,—gone, lost for ever,—
In the wild billows swallowed up and lost,—
Gone, full of love, life, hope, and high endeavor,
Just when we would have welcomed her the most.

Was it for this, O woman, true and pure!
That life through shade and light had formed thy mind
To feel, imagine, reason, and endure,—
To soar for truth, to labor for mankind?
Was it for this sad end thou didst bear thy part
In deeds and words for struggling Italy,—
Devoting thy large mind and larger heart
That Rome in Inter days might yet be free?
And, from that home driven out by tyranny,
Didst turn to see thy fatherland once more,
Dearing affection’s dearest ties with thee;
And as the vessel bore thee to our shore,
And hope rose to fulfilment,—on the deck,
When friends seemed almost beckoning unto thee:
O God! the fearful storm,—the splitting wreck,—
The drowning billows of the dreary sea!

O, many a heart was stricken dumb with grief!
We who had known thee here,—had met thee there
Where Rome threw golden light on every leaf
Life’s volume turned in that enchanted air,—
O friend! how we recall the Italian days
Amid the Cæsar’s ruined palace halls,—
The Coliseum, and the frescoed blaze
Of proud St. Peter’s dome,—the Sistine walls,—
The lone Campagna and the village green,—
The Vatican,— the music and dim light
Of gorgeous temples,—statues, pictures, seen
With thee: those sunny days return so bright,
Now thou art gone! Thou hast a fairer world
Than that bright clime. The dreams that filled thee here
Now find divine completion, and, unfurled
Thy spirit-wings, find out their own high sphere.

Farewell! thought-gifted, noble-hearted one!
We, who have known thee, know thou art not lost;
The star that set in storms still shines upon
The o’ershadowing cloud, and, when we sorrow most,
In the blue spaces of God’s firmament
Beams out with purer light than we have known,
Above the tempest and the wild lament
Of those who, weep the radiance that is flown.

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